Jewish Journal


Israelis want Romney, don’t want attack on Iran. Not that it matters‎

by Shmuel Rosner

August 16, 2012 | 2:32 am

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak meeting with his American counterpart Leon Panetta in Tel Aviv, August 1, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

I’ve written a couple of posts in the past about Israelis’ views regarding ‎an IDF attack on Iran. A new Israel Democracy Institute survey (July’s Peace ‎Index) reconfirms what we already know: Israelis are quite ‎apprehensive about doing it all alone, without American support:‎

The present survey’s data clearly show that the public (57%) ‎relies more on the judgment of the heads of the defense ‎establishment, including the Chief of Staff and the heads of the ‎Mossad and the Israel Security Agency, than on that the judgment ‎of the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister (28%), who—‎according to reports—favor a military attack on Iran before Iran ‎acquires nuclear capability. The differences of opinion on this ‎issue based on the respondents’ self-definition in the political-‎security sphere are huge. ‎

Take a look at the chart:


Thus, if the military truly opposes an attack, it is obvious that the public ‎will take the military’s side and not the side of the political leadership. ‎

We also learn from this survey that Israelis – as I’ve explained many ‎times in the past – are more likely to want Mitt Romney to win the ‎November election:‎

Whereas 40% of the respondents surveyed put more trust in the ‎Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, than in Barack Obama, only ‎‎19% put more trust in Obama (the rest have no definite opinion ‎on the matter). A segmentation according to political-security ‎camps shows that on the left, 37% see Obama as better for Israel, ‎‎17% see Romney as more concerned about Israel’s interests, and ‎‎14% see no substantial differences between the two. In the ‎center, only 20% regard Obama as more concerned about Israel’s ‎interests, 39% choose Romney, and 14.5% do not see a difference. ‎On the right, however, 13% think Obama will be more concerned ‎about Israel, 52% think this is true of Romney, and 8% expect ‎both of them to be concerned about Israel to the same extent.‎

While we keep track of Israelis’ view both regarding an attack on Iran ‎and US presidential preferences – it is important to note that there’s ‎one similarity between these two issues: In both cases public opinion ‎doesn’t matter much. Israelis don’t have the necessary information ‎with which to determine if an Israeli attack will be the right move. And ‎they have no real impact on American elections.  ‎

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